What are the benefits of having a social media policy?

Social networking platforms may be fun and can keep us connected (especially during recent times). They may also be used as effective company marketing tools. However, businesses should be aware that social media may be a legal quagmire despite these advantages. As a result, we must be mindful of the dangers of social media use to avoid them. A social media policy is ideal for laying out your expectations for how workers utilise social media while also lowering risk.

In this blog, we’ll go through the various hazards that businesses face due to their employees’ usage of social media and practical actions that companies may take to develop a social media strategy that works for them. Furthermore, we examine social media usage in the context of the coronavirus epidemic and how it may be impacting employee social media usage.

During the coronavirus epidemic and its constraints, social media rose to prominence as a means for families, friends, and communities to remain in touch. Furthermore, despite many employees working remotely, many firms have had to adjust their operations in order to stay connected with their colleagues and consumers. For example, you may have implemented additional social technologies to aid team communication and project collaboration. Alternatively, you may have promoted more usage of professional social media networks like LinkedIn to compensate for the absence of face-to-face networking possibilities now available.

Many employees, in particular, are working from home as a result of government directives. A possible side effect of home working is that the physical and mental borders between home and work become progressively blurred.

Employers without a social media policy face risks

As we’ve seen, there are several advantages to using social networking. Therefore, it’s understandable that an employer would wish to provide instructions on utilising and handling work-related social media accounts. But why should an employer care about an employee’s personal use of social media? Let’s look at the possible hazards for companies linked with employee social media use to learn more about this.

Reputation and brand

Employees have been reported to criticise their company or management online in various ways, from characterising their job as “boring” to saying much, much worse. These remarks, if left unchecked, reflect poorly on a firm and can have a detrimental influence on the employer’s brand and reputation.

Confidential Information

You can’t get information back once it’s out there on social media places, even if you erase the initial post. It can be retweeted, shared, screen-grabbed, or accidentally deleted from someone’s inbox. Employees who don’t understand what’s required of them or what they’re authorised to do may inadvertently brag about a new confidential customer or post a highly sensitive project on their blog.

Discrimination and harassment

Employers may be held accountable for discrimination by their workers under anti-discrimination legislation. For example, suppose an employee posts a discriminatory statement online against a coworker based on sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, belief, or race. In that case, their company might be held vicariously accountable, even if the remark was not made on a work computer or without the employer’s knowledge or agreement.

Defamation and libel

Libel and defamation cases are becoming more common due to what individuals post on social networking sites.

Employers might be held accountable for baseless charges published online by their workers, whether it’s an off-handed remark about a colleague or a statement made in a rage about customers or suppliers.

Time-wasting

We all know how beneficial social media sites can be, but few would disagree that they can also be distracting and time-consuming. If no policies exist, firms may discover that employees are squandering hours of paid time each week conversing on social media sites, with the borders between professional and personal use blurring.

Employees must recognise that adjustments to their personal profiles might have far-reaching consequences, even if they are work-related.

Employees must also understand that while they’re representing the company online, they must act in a way that promotes the brand, whether through what they publish or how they interact with other users. There may also be limitations on who can represent the firm on the internet.

Whether in a personal or professional role, what employees say online may have a huge influence on a company’s image and reputation and cause legal concerns.

Like many other aspects of employment law, well-drafted policies make all the difference. So if you don’t already have one, now is the time to implement one and make sure it’s well-communicated to the staff, so they know what’s expected of them on social media.

Talk to Cluer HR about securing a social media policy for your company.

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